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Of Shearings Holidays

Old Shearings Coach
Old Shearings Coach
Old Shearings Coach

How we started

Shearings is one of the UK’s leading independent holiday companies, perhaps best known for our coach-based tours. Our roots can be traced back to the early 20th century (1903) when Smiths Happiways was established in Wigan. In 1921 Shearings was establish in Oldham, and, following acquisition by Pleasurama, the two companies merged to form Smiths Shearings in 1987.

Year Event
1903 Smiths Happiways is established in Wigan by William Webster
1921 Shearings is founded in Oldham by William Shearing
1973 National Holidays is formed to co-ordinate the coaching activities of the state-owned National Bus Company
1982 Smith Happiways acquired by Associated Leisure Limited
1984 Shearings is acquired by Associated Leisure Limited
1984 Associated Leisure Limited is acquired by Pleasurama
1986 National Holidays is acquired by Pleasurama
1987 Shearings and Smiths Happiways are amalgamated and become Smiths Shearings
1989 Pleasurama is acquired by Mecca
1989 National Holidays is amalgamated with Smiths Shearings and the company is called Shearings
1990 Mecca is taken over by The Rank Organisation, one of the world’s leading leisure and entertainment companies
1996 Shearings becomes independent from The Rank Group
2005 Wallace Arnold and Shearings merge to form Shearings Group


With over 100 years' experience, we know what makes a great holiday. But don't just take our word for it... Thanks to votes of our loyal customers, we won four British Travel Awards in 2011, including Specialist Best Escorted Tours Operator, UK/Domestic Holiday Company of the Year, Best Tour Operator to Central & Northern Europe and Best Independent Tour Operator to the Italian Peninsula & Malta. 

What's more, the coach industry voted Shearings for European Coach Holiday Programme of the Year in the 2011 Coach Tourism Awards, while the travel trade voted us Best Coach Operator in the 2012 Globe Travel Awards (for the fourth consecutive year), Rail, Road & Sea Operator of the Year in the 2011 TTG Awards and Star Coach Operator in the Travel Bulletin Star Awards – proof that we really are the best in the business.

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  • British Travel Awards
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